Do you get nervous around trucks sharing Tennessee’s roads with you? If so, you aren’t alone. The size and weight of big rigs can be an intimidating site.

It doesn’t take much imagination to know that the injuries you could suffer in an accident with one of these large and heavy vehicles could change your life forever. If the evidence proves that the truck driver caused the crash, you may pursue compensation through the courts — or you could enter into negotiations for a settlement.

The attraction of a settlement

Using an alternative method of dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration may be attractive to you. It would spare you the cost, time and commitment needed in order to enter into litigation. It could take months or years to resolve a court claim, and during that time, you may continue to incur medical expenses and other financial damages that make it difficult to provide for you and your family.

Moreover, your injuries could make it impossible for you to work either temporarily or permanently. Seeking a settlement through alternative means could provide you with the compensation you need much sooner, so that you can get your life back on track as quickly as possible.

You could negotiate for either a structured settlement in which you receive payments until paying the full amount, or a lump sum settlement. Advantages exist to both types, so you would need to determine which one would serve your interests better.

The disadvantages of a settlement

A settlement does not come without its disadvantages, and you may want to keep them in mind as you choose a course of action. The most common downsides of entering into a settlement include the following:

  • If you enter into a binding settlement, you lose the right to take the claims on which you settled to the courts.
  • The other side will more than likely require you to include a provision in the agreement, stating that you give up that right. In fact, it may be a requirement that you give up the right to take any additional claims to court, even if you did not include them in the settlement.
  • You will give up the right to make your claims public or receive more compensation in court.
  • You run the risk of accepting much less than a court would award you if you decided to litigate your claims.

Despite these issues, it may be in your best interests to accept a settlement. In some cases, it is best to go with the sure thing since you can’t predict what would happen in court. The only way to know for sure is to thoroughly investigate the accident, the damages to which you may be entitled and the amount of compensation you could receive in court or through a settlement.